Okay I’m going to stray a little bit off anime but this sis still on the topic of animation. There are three local animation movies that are released this year so the hype in my country is pretty damn high right now. While most of you can’t actually watch those movies, I’m gonna tell you about them anyway and share the hype. Because I’m honestly just proud of what our animation productions have achieved so far. I’ll link all the trailers for all the movies that I’ll mention. The trailers have English subtitles so yea, you will understand the trailers. Let’s begin with the first movie.
Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal
In English, the movie is titled Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris. It was released in several different countries back in March and… I didn’t watch it. Okay this is not a good start to hype something. But I’m not a fan of every animation series in Malaysia so forgive me.
Now Upin & Ipin is actually the first local animation series that got popular in Malaysia. It was produced by Les’ Copaque Production and debuted way back in 2007. The debut season features a twin named Upin and Ipin and their daily lives during the month of Ramadhan, the holy month for the muslims. The consecutive seasons also follow their daily lives but not in the month of Ramadhan. So basically it’s a slice of life series. But the movie is nothing slice of life and all action. Which is the main problem I have with the movie.
Because I haven’t actually watched the movie, I can’t really say if it’s good or not. But how can you put little children who are powerless and have no strength in a war setting and make them the main characters? I guess you can make them the victim of the situation but the trailer doesn’t suggest that so I don’t know how they’re going to make it work. I guess I have to watch it in order to know.
It’s still one of the most popular animated series in my country though. Maybe the movie is good, but I personally think it’s better if they stick to the light-hearted slice of life tone. The movie did get to be one of the nominees for Oscar 2020 so that’s something.
Boboiboy Movie 2
This is the most popular animated film in Malaysia. The first movie was released in 2016 and August this year, the second movie was released. It was released in 5 different countries which are Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam. It also has a series which I loosely follow.
I watched this movie, because it’s almost like a must here. You can’t NOT watch it. Everyone watches it. Now I praise its animation and, popularity and success. The fighting scenes are very good, just like shounen anime honestly. They shout the names of their attacks before attacking. They literally have a name for every attack. In terms of popularity, the films and series are super popular in Indonesia. The majority of the fans are actually from Indonesia, not Malaysia.
But with all the praise, the main problem I have with the film is its story. It’s too… catered for kids. The story is too straight-forward. Bad guy appears, do something bad, good guys struggle because of it, good guys win. It sounds too simplistic but it’s basically the whole movie.
The characters too doesn’t help in alleviating the problem. The interaction between characters are too bland, the comedic characters become annoying halfway through, and the villain has no real motivation except for ‘destroying the world’, which is of course, boring.
Other people seem to very much enjoy the film, but I honestly think they’re overly biased because this is a local animated film. As for me, I’m also quite proud of our animation productions, which is why I wrote this in the first place but after watching the movie, I can’t praise it because the movie is just not good story-wise.
Ejen Ali: Misi Neo
Now THIS is the film that I really want to talk about. It hasn’t come out yet as it will be released on the 28th of November this year. It’ll only be released in Malaysia though. It is not confirmed yet if it will be released in other countries, but it certainly won’t be released in the West…
The title of the film in English is Agent Ali: Mission Neo, and Ali is the name of the protagonist. I know this is going to be a good film, especially after watching the second trailer. It has the complexity that I want. Well it isn’t THAT complex because it’s still a kids film. But I really appreciate it trying to appeal to older audiences by having a little bit more depth to the story than just good versus evil. Ejen Ali also has a series prior to the upcoming movie and I tell you, it is so good!
The series has two seasons, 13 episodes each season. The animation of the early part of the first season is quite underwhelming honestly probably because it was done by a fairly new animation studio but after that, it’s been good and consistent. The story and characters are the highlights of the series. The story has a lot of twists and the characters are really entertaining to watch specifically Ali and Alicia. The way they bicker with each other feels very natural, especially in the second season. The heroes and the villains aren’t as black and white as it initially seems so it’s extremely interesting to see how the characters ‘change sides’.
Ultimately what I’m trying to say is I love the series and I can’t wait for the movie next month. I’ll mostly likely buy any merchandise they throw at my face. After watching the movie, I’ll definitely write my thoughts about it and post it here. Most of you guys can’t watch it though… But I will still write about it.
These are all animated films that are released in this year. Two of them have been released and another one will be released soon. They’re all produced by three different animation studios which are Les’ Copaque Production, Animosta Studios and Wau Animation. It’s great to see healthy competition instead of just one company dominating everything. I’d say animated series and films are getting more popular here partly because three of the most popular animated films are released this year. I like the progress of of our animation productions so far and I’m looking forward to what they can achieve in the future.